tv Face the Nation CBS June 3, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EDT
the nation" romney clinches the republican nomination and turns up the political heat as the economy cools. >> the president's policies and his handling of the economy has been dealt a harsh indictment. >> the president's top strategist, david axelrod, went to romney's backyard to say hold it right there. >> after selling himself to massachusetts as an economic savior, the massachusetts record was alarmingly weak. gleevecle rod is with us this morning as is the chairman of the republican party. it's all about politics and we'll continue the conversation with former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, texas senator kay bailey hutchinson, and columnist bob shrumanded it
gear. we'll bring in david sanger and daniel klaidman authors of two new books that peel back the secrecy of the administration's war on terror and the iranian nuclear threat. plenty to hash out and now that former president bush's official portrait has been unveiled at the white house-- >> you'll now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, what, would george do?" glee and why not, this is "facelet nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: david axelrod is the senior strategist for the obama campaign. when you tried to talk about your strategy up in boston, the republicans organized a rally to try to drown you out. so we'll let rance priebus, the
chairman of the republican party talk in a minute, but we'll give you a chance to say what you have to say first. what about that rally up there? >> well, look, we went up there to make a point about governor romney's economic record. governor romney offers himself as a job creator, a kind of economic oracle, and he's saying the same exact things he said 10 years ago when he ran for governor of massachusetts. and what happened? massachusetts plunged to 47th in job creation. they lost manufacturing jobs at twice the rate of the country. they grew jobs at one-fifth the rate of the rest of country. it wasn't the record of a job creator. he had the wrong economic philosophy and he failed. i was disappointed that they chose to send a bunch of campaign staff to try and drown out the speakers. but you can't drown out the record, bob. the record is very clear. >> schieffer: the "new york times" says that the weakening recovery is a serious liability for the president's reelection. romney, as you just said, said the job numbers out friday were
devastating. is the president going to have to do something here he hasn't tried before? isn't he going to have to do something to jump start this economy? >> bob, first of all, the numbers this month were disappointing. the president said when he took office back in 2009 and the country was losing 800,000 jobs a day that it took years to get into this mess and it was going to take long, persistent effort to get us out of it. he took some tough decision, the auto intervention being a major one, and we've had 27 months of private sector job growth now and 4.2 million jobs created or 4.3. but we have to do more. he's asked the congress for a series of steps to get construction workers back to work, rebuilding our roads and bridges. to put teachers back in the classroom. to help homeowners renegotiate-- refinance their homes under these low-interest rates, homeowners who are responsible and their homes are underwater. all these things would help the economy. what was striking about what happened on friday was how quick
the leaders of congress were out there wringing their hands. these are the architects of obstruction, and now they're complaining about the pace of the recovery. they should put down their political hats and join us and help solve these problems. >> schieffer: but aren't you going to have to do more than just attack congress? it's not a matter of attacking congress us bob, and i don't think the american people are looking for us to attack each other. they're looking for us to work together. there are specific steps-- you look at this jobs report, what was interesting about it, manufacturing up. we've had 500,000 manufacturing jobs created over this recovery. the best record in two decades, largely because of what the president did relative to the auto industry which the congress and governor romney opposed. what was down was construction. what was down was education. the very things that the president has been trying to get the congress to act on were the things that were down. i think the country is going to demand action. what we have learned is they will only act when the country demands action.
otherwise they're going to sit on their hands and instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers. >> schieffer: let me just ask you-- maybe this is kind of a philosophical question-- it occurs to me the president got himself elected with a very positive campaign that basically appealed to our better angels. he talked about hope, he talked about change. but this time he just comes right out of the gate with a very negative ad, an attack on mitt romney. isn't-- i wonder, doesn't he have to talk about what he's accomplished and what he hopes to do before he talks about what the other guy is trying to tear down. >> let me correct one thing. we've run probably $25 million, $27 million of advertising in this campaign and virtually all of it has been positive. a lot of attention was given to one particular ad-- >> schieffer: bain capital.
>> bain capital. but if you live in the states where our advertising is running you have seen a steady stream of ads over the last months talking about the things that have happened over the last three and a half years, talking about the hard work we've done together as a people to move out of the mess we were in when the president arrived. so you of i just have to challenge your premise. >> schieffer: so you're saying you're running a positive campaign? what about this bain ad-- >> you said advertising-- >> schieffer: bill clinton of all people said mitt romney had a sterling record as a businessman. >> i saw that interview, bob? >> schieffer: what about that? >> what he said was his business record and the fact that he was a governor qualify him to be president. he went on to say that his economic views would be disastrous for the country. and i agree with him on that. no one's arguing whether mitt romney is qualified to be president. what we're arguing is whether he's qualified to call himself a job creator. that's not what he did in his business. that's not the purpose of his
business, and it's certainly not what they did in massachusetts where they had one of the worst economic records in the country. when you hold yourself out as an economical oracle and say to people, "trust me, i know how to move the country forward," and your record says something else, of course you're going to be challenged for this. >> schieffer: i do notice this weekend and most of the week the president did not talk about bain capital. does that say that-- should we take from that, that maybe some of this criticism that people in your own party have been making on that attack that perhaps it's not working and you're going to dial back a little on that? >> no, president obama, it is part of a piece, which is is mitt romney's background, are his ideas the ones that can move our economy forward? and, you know, the particular-- some of the instances we raised, take the one about the steel company in kansas city, mitt romney and his group bought that company, they put $8 million of their own dollars in for a $75
million, immediately borrowed $125 million and the next year took $36 million back out of that company for dividend. the company ultimately went bankrupt, workers lost their benefit, creditors walked lost out, and they walked away with millions of dollars. that may be a successful business strategy for them but that is not an economic strategy that will rebuild the middle class and goat economy and that's the point we're making. >> schieffer: you were mentioned in two new books about foreign policy, in fact the authors are both of those brooks coming up later in the show. in one account, it says upper present at a national security meeting when the president was making decisions on which terrorists we were going to track down and kill. >> that's not true. >> schieffer: you're just simply saying that is not true. >> i'm flat out asserting that is not true. i know there were weekly meet dealing with terrorist threats
and plans around it but i did not attend those meetings. >> peter: chairman of the house intelligence committee, who is a republican, i know is concerned that you were there. but you're just saying flat out-- >> let me allay his concerns, bob, because that's not true. >> schieffer: okay, one other thing that's in one of these books, and that is that you and the attorney general had a chest-to-chest shouting match because he thought you were interfering in things that his department was doing, and valerie jared of all people came up and said you need to take this out in the hall. >> let me say, eric holder is grate friend of mine. we went to the same high school. we may have gone chest to chest back in the day. we have a strong relationship. and i'm not going to get into the details of that other than to say i respect him. i obviously never tried to interfere in anything that he did, never talked to him about a
governmental matter or a justice department matter in all of years i was in the white house. >> schieffer: all right, david axelrod, thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> schieffer: joining me now is rance priebus, the chairman of the republican party. he is in milwaukee this morning, and, mr. chairman, welcome to you. we want to get your reaction to some of the things that david axelrod said. but, first, you're out there to campaign for republican governor scott walker. who faces a recall election this week. i just wanted to get your sense of how you think it's going. >> well, i think it's going pretty well, bob. but, you know, here in wisconsin, we know as republicans we've got to keep our foot on the pedal, see this thing through the end and, you know, the difference between scott walker and the president is pretty stark. you know, you mentioned it earlier, but scott walker is talking about his record. he's talking about the fact that his reforms are working, that people are getting back to work, that businesses are coming in. un, people's property taxes have gone down. and, you know, you can't keep
operating a government that spends more money than it takes in. so scott walk 0 one of these special people that have made promises and kept promises. you contrast that to david axelrod's boss, he's a president who is in love with the sound of his own voice but hasn't been able to follow through on too many promises so that's really david's problem and the president's problem but, fortunately for scott walker, he's got a record of keeping a promise and that's special here. people appreciate folks that are strong and make promises and keep them. >> schieffer: well, you say a president who is in love with his own voice, but i mean, that leads me to what you all were doing last week, and that is organizing aeral tow try to drown out david axelrod when he goes up to boston at the same time that out on the west coast, governor romney was loading up reporters in a bus and taking them on a secret mission to the solyndra plant because he said he couldn't reveal where they
were going, he was fearful democrats would try to break that up. isn't that kind of silly and petty when you look at it? this campaign should be, it seems to me, about very serious things and serious issues. >> well, i think solyndra is a serious thing. and i think highlighting solyndra, highlighting this president's fora into venture capitalism, using taxpayer money to send to solyndra of which the directores were donor to president obama. this is political cronyism in its worst formap as far as david axelrod and going to boston, that's the height of a political stunt. what's the purpose of the chicago clan going to boston to hold some sort of political stunt. and for these tough guys from boston now-- i mean, excuse me these tough guys from chicago to cry about it, i just find it laughable. >> schieffer: so should we expect more of that? >> well, i mean, this is
politics and i think rallies and protests and people getting out there and voicing their first amendment rights is something that's pretty normal. and i think of i just find it-- i think it's amusing. i think that for david axelrod, more importantly, to be somehow holding a public event over mitt romney's job record in massachusetts when if this president had mitt romney's job record they'd be holding a carnival celebrating their successes. but they failed so badly that they want us to believe that we're not living on earth and that the president isn't the president and all of these things that are going wrong have nothing to do with barack obama. >> schieffer: what about governor romney's plan to get people pack to work? will we ever hear him say anything beyond we've just got to make it more comfortable for business and getting rid of barack obama? is high going to ever present anything really specific on how to get people back to work? >> well, bob, i guess we--
you're very good, but i just push back on this. if you look-- if guto mittromney.com i think you would be stunned if you go to the details of the plan he has out there. he has been specific about keystone pipeline, income tax cuts for everybody across the aboard by 20%, specific lowering the business tax rate from 35% to 25%, specific about offshore, onshore drilling and the energy policies he would pursue. he has been specific about getting rid of obamacare, and replacing it with something better, more market driven. i would just challenge and you anybody to go to mittromney.com, look at these policies -- he has been very specific. you contrast that to the president. he's the one who made promises about cutting the deficit in half. he made promises about the debt.
he made promises about jobs after spended a trillion dollars. we are living in the obama economy that was set up by harry road and nancy pelosi and barack obama. i mean, barack obama is going out to rallies, bob, and saying, "are you satisfied?" faze he's not the president. no, we're not satisfied. and you're the president, and you have an inability to lead this country. >> schieffer: but, but-- mr. priebus, you're not saying the economy was in great shape when president obama took-- took the oath. it seems to me there might have been a couple of little problems before that. >> listen, i-- i-- i'm not disagreeing with you that there were challenges but i am telling you he made everything worse, number one. but number two, and more importantly, he made promises to the american people. he made a promise on the debt, the deficit, jobs, lobbyists, green energy, gasoline-- i mean, you name it, he was the promise king. and he hasn't followed through on any of it, and he went the
opposite direction. un what? people are looking for real, authentic people in this country to keep their word and this president can't do it. >> schieffer: thank you very much mr. priebus, i hope to have you again and we'll be back in one minute with our political panel. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business, it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $6.4 billion in new credit to small businesses across the country last year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production.
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title. who are the with uss? >> pretty much all of the folk that are in power today. democrats are afraid to confront our base, for example, to tell seniors we have to do something with entitlements because that's where the money is and we can do it without really crushing benefits. republicans are afraid of grover norquist. they're afraid to raise revenue, even though everyone knows we can't do it by cuts alone. we have to are revenue and cuts. and unless we have leaders willing to take a risk, do what's right, we're going to hell in a handbasket. >> schieffer: that takes me right to senator hutchison. there's something i want to ask you about. you're retiring uof course, and there's a republican primary to decide who is is going to get the republican nomination for your seat. david dude hurst is the lieutenant governor, i guess i would call him-- if there is such a thing-- an of the establishment candidate. he is in a runoff with a tea
party candidate, ted crews, but i want to show you a cliche an ad run by the conservative group the governor talks about, the club for growth. listen to this. >> the "dallas morning news" says duehurst has servedda a moderate republican. the "houston chron cell" says duehurst is considered a mod rad. >> schieffer: my heavens, horror of horrors, a moderate. ( laughter ). senator, has "moderate" become a dirty word? >> i think it has. people have called me a moderate. i've always been a conservative, david duehurst is certainly a conservative, and he and the governor have done all of the work in the legislature in a conservative way, and the governor is very conservative in supporting david duehistory as well. i think you can differ on
issues, but making a conservative look liberal is a misstatement. >> schieffer: does that bother you, you're talking about moderation as something we ought to shy away from, maybe? >> well, i think that conservative is not a dirty word. and i think that moderate is a different type of approach to things. i don't think it's bad. it's just labeling people wrongly, i think, is it what's bad. >> schieffer: well, mr. gerson, you wrote speeches for george bush. you write a column now that, obviously, you write from the right. what about this thing? that somehow moderation is something people don't want to be known as. >> i don't think it's a problem. you have to-- for a national presidential election, you have to run towards the center. there's no question that mitt romney will have to do that and to govern in washington you're going to have to make agreements on entitlements and other things that requires both parties.
so using that as an epithet undermines our political system and making it work. i think that's definitely true. with the tea party they're pushing some candidates that are just bad candidates. engel last time, and o'donnell. there are some good ones, too. marco rubio who is a real star and others. it's a mixed bag when it comes s to the tea party and their influence in these senate elections. >> schieffer: what do you think this means? i think the republican party has moved very far to the right. i don't think there's a lot of room for people who will make compromise. the president was willing to make a grand bargain last summer. john boehner has several different explanationes yes he wouldn't do it but i think fundamentally he went back to his caucus and said i'm thinking of doing something like this and they basically let him be the house speaker might be suddenly named eric cantor if he keeps going down the road.
when the president said let's change the deal a little he used that as a pretext to walk away. i think we have a very polarized country, very different from the senate where i worked, when you see people like ted kennedy and orrin hatch who probably doesn't want me to remind the voteres of utah about this, working together to ensure children's health. kay bailey hutchinson has worked with john keroinfrastructure. this is a tradition that is dying, and it is dying to the detriment of the country. >> and, bob, that's a perfect example. i mean, i think labels don't matter-- conservative, moderate. kay bailey hutchinson is a conservative but she understands that we've got to rebuild our infrastructure or we're going to fall apart and fall behind economically. so she's willing to invest in repairing that infrastructure. i don't care whether her label is conservative or moderate, it's the right thing. it's smart policy. >> schieffer: how do you think the president is doing right now? there's some criticism that last time it was hope and change. this time he's just negative right out of the box.
>> well, i think the president, frankly, i think they don't up as much on their record as they should. i think considering the hand that he was dealt, where he has taken the country, the auto bailout successful, his programs for children's health care-- he's done a lot of good and i think they're a little shy about talking about it. >> schieffer: we're going to have to take a break here. we're going to hear more from our panel on page two but i'll be back with some of my own thoughts on all of this. knowing what to make and when could help cut down on thousands of unsold baked goods per month. using analytics, we discovered when it's drizzling outside... people eat more cake. and when the temperature rises, panini sales go up. finding these hidden connections helped our european bakeries
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let's solve this. >> schieffer: you have to drill deep into modern american politics to find something to feel good about these days, but the sharp eyed ashley parker of the "new york times" actually found something deep down there among the sleazy ads, the obscene amounts of money, and the rock mind-numbing talking points. and what was it? well, she reports that for all of this criticism of barack obama's policy, some of mitt romney's supporters are upset that he continues to say the president is a nice guy, but, she reports, romney's people have decide that won't change. thomas, ath, one of romney's keep adviser said romney will continue to argue the president is not a bad guy, just the wrong
guy to fix the economy. the president's team may compare bain capital to a blood-sucking pat of bat put the president describes romney as a patriotic american who has much to be proud of. maybe it's political posturing. maybe both sides decided this is the best strategy to get votes but if you will excuse me for being a hopeless romantic, it could be because both of these men have looked at the sorry, crude state of what passes for political discourse these days, and have decided it disgusts them as much as it repulses the rest of us. as i said, i am a hopeless romantic. back in a minute. you know i've found that anger is the enemy of instruction. you don't know the egos that i have to deal with. you're probably right.
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>> schieffer: we continue with our political panel, ed rendell, former governor of pennsylvania plus bob shrum and michael gerson and republican senator kay bailey hutchinson. michael, do you think it is possible to be elected on a positive campaign or does it have to be negative like we see this one already is? >> well, i think we had a pretty positive campaign from barack obama four years ago. he had an edge. he can be very tough, which every politician needs to be at certain points. right now, i think president obama can't talk about his economic performance, his economic plans are quite limited. so he's going to trash romney. he's going to blame the congress and president bush. and he's going to engage in-- his campaign is engaging in a
lot of culture war arguments, on war on women. this is really a complete inversion of the president we saw four years ago. his campaign aides in a recent article in "new york" magazine are claiming credit for this approach, this negative approach, which is i think is really sabotaging the president to have your own aides talking about this, even if you need to do it. the best attribute that president obama brought to the last election was aspiration. when you remove that aspect from the president's appeal, there's not much left. >> schieffer: senator hutchison, what advice would you give to the romney campaign? let's talk about the romney campaign a little bit. what do you think he needs to do. what is he not doing as well as he should be doing right now? >> well, i think romney's job is to show that president obama has not done the job, that he's been divisive. he has not worked with congress. he had a message yesterday, "oh,
congress, get back to work." well, we're at work every day, and we don't see the president's people coming over with constructive suggestions, and i think mr. obama, governor obama-- governor romney needs to show that there is a better way, that we can get the keystone pipeline going and create jobs immediately without one taxpayer dollar being spent, that we can control our budget with responsible cuts, and looking at entitlements. he should be joining with congress right now-- president obama should-- to say, "we can fix social security right now with relatively modest changes, with no cuts in benefits, and save it for 75 years, and yet, we just see divisiveness from the president, and i think that that's what, honestly, mitt romney is trying to show, that there's a better way. >> schieffer: doesn't he have to do something himself?
doesn't he-- obviously, you always when you're running against an incumbent, you try to make it a referendum on the incumbent. but doesn't he have to go a little beyond that and say, "hey, folks, here's what i stand for?" >> he does, he does. he has an ad that says here are the first three things i'm going to do when i'm president. one is repeal obamacare that as people are finding out what is going to happen are already saying oh, my gosh. this isn't what we need to give access to health care to more people in our country because so many people are going to lose their health care that they have and that they know. and keystone pipeline, he said day one, we're going to open it up with our friend canada and create jobs in america. so i think he is being specific. >> schieffer: okay, let me go to governor rendell. you heard what michael gerson just said about the president's own aides are sabotaging him? >> well, anybody who puts so much emphasis on the negative--
look, do you have to point out your opponent's-- if your opponent says, "i did this" and he didn't you have to point that out. but the thrust of a campaign has to be positive. i think the president has a lot to be proud about. i think under the circumstances he's done a terrific job. that's where they should be going. to that extent i agree. >> schieffer: bob? >> i'm the one person here who disagrees very strongly with all of this. first of all, i think michael's analysis is ahistorical. in 2008 barack obama was out there way message of home and change. he ran a huge number of ads, tough ads against john mccain, as many negative ads as john mccain ran. secondly, bill clinton has made this point, the same point the governor is making, and i went back and looked. in 1996, most of clinton's advertising was negative against bob dole, tarring him with newt gingrich. it got to the point where you thought dole's last name was gingrich, it was all, "dole-gingrich" did this.
franklin roosevelt ran in 1936 for reelection. he ran against the economic royalists. there is nothing wrong with the president holding mitt romney to account for his record in private business and mis record as a public official. harry truman did the same thing. ronald reagan in 1980, one of the most optimistic politicians in america, ran a pretty tough advertising campaign against jimmy carter. so i think we ought to just face reality here. if you did what i think the governor is suggesting, maybe he's not, and you just let this be a referendum, i don't think the president could win because the truth of the matter is, he may have created over 4.3 million jobs, he may have saved general motors, but the country is still not back to where it needs to be. so this needs to be a choice election. people have to have that chinese, and if they had the choice, i think the president's going to be fine. look, take bain capital, everybody got all excited about bain capital. >> and know some democrats will in the party are pretty close to the financial industry.
two kind of private equity-- some buy up companies and build them up, others buy up marginal companies, lode them up in debt, take out giant fees, the company goes down and the employees lose their job. ampad, bought by bain capital. bain put in $1 for every $20 it took out. the company went down and romney and his partners made $100 million. i did the kennedy conservatism in massachusetts in 1994 against mitt romney. that is a very powerful argument. >> schieffer: let me say something, i think there are a lot of republicans out there saying, did you hear slum just said if this is a referendum on barack obama he would lose? >> if this is a referendum on the condition of the economy and the country, people aren't happy. the president said that. we have a lot more to do. so they have to be given a choice. the romney campaign has made it very clear they want this to be a referendum. did you hear the other day-- >> schieffer: sure. >> for the same reason i said.
did you hear the other day when asked about bain, he's had to deal with this for 18 years, he doesn't have an answer, looks embarrassed, puts his head down and immediately tries to go off and talk about what's wrong with the president. >> the first attempt use the bain ad in this campaign was pretty much a flop and it was a flop because president-- >> why do you say it was a flop? >> because president bill clinton came on and undermined it, talking about mitt romney's sterling record. >> but president let is wrong. look, it's not the first time-- he gave advice to hillary clinton and got involved in the south carolina primary in 2008 and didn't do her much good. >> this is your last chance-- >> where the ad matters is in ohio and michigan and it's going to resonate and it's going to have a huge amount of power. >> i want to say one thing. i think in the end, voters are going to decide not about a referendum on what obama's done or about mitt romney's past. they're going to decide who has the best prescription to get us out of this going forward.
and that's why i think so much of the campaign-- i think president obama has a much better plan-- infrastructure revitalization, things like that-- that really will put people back to work than governor romney does. i'd like them to focus on the future. okay, governor, what's your plan? you want to repeal obamacare? what are you going to do for 40 million americans who don't have health care? that's the key-- what are you going to do to get us out of that? that's what i think people are going to focus on. if we can make that the issue, i think we can win. >> schieffer: senator hutchison, where do you think the race is right now? >> bob, first of all, i just have to say it is laughable that the democrats would say oh, we shouldn't be looking at obama's record. are you kidding? of course. that's how you run elections. historically, we've had negative campaigns. we don't argue about that. but is it right to distort a record of a private company like bain capital-- >> what's the distortion, senator. >> it that did increase jobs.
>> what's the distortion? the distortion is the steel industry was going under all over the country because of low-cost competition globally. and that ad that you ran that said the bain capital took it over and then the jobs were gone, they kept it open for seven years trying to keep those jobs going and they couldn't compete like no other steel company in america could compete with the low-cost competition overseas. >> well, they got seven years of giant fees which is what they wanted. >> and if you're running against a capitalist company that created overall jobs, you're going to lose because we're looking at the obama record and jobs-- we've got an 8.2% unemployment rate, and what do we see? we see the president talking about new taxes on the people who could create jobs. >> schieffer: senator. >> we see him stifling the jobs that could be created by not approving the keystone pipeline even though the "washington post" said he should do it.
>> schieffer: all right. >> i mean, really, it is his record here. >> schieffer: ding, ding, ding, there's a bell ringing here, senator. i'm sorry. we're just out of time. we'll be back. thank you all so much for a very spirited discussion. we'll be back in one minute to talk about some presidential foreign policy decisions. what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
>> schieffer: two brand new books. david sanger of the "new york times" chief washington correspondent author of "confront and conceal" front and conceal and daniel klaidman who has written "kill and capture." david, i want to start with you. i want to clear up one thing, i said earlier in the broadcast, when i asked david axelrod in the books this was it was
reported he was in one of the national security meetings. i believe both of you say it was not in your books but in a "new york times" story. >> that's right. >> schieffer: but that was not a story reported by yourself. >> that's right. >> schieffer: we'll let that go. let me ask you this, you write in this book and summarized a piece in the "new york times" this week, david, the story of this covert cyberattack that the united states and israel used to do significant damage to israel's eye mean, to iran's nuclear development program. it was code named "olympic games." this was all news to me. tell me about this. >> it wasn't just a single attack, bob. it was a four-yearlong campaign that continues through to this day. olympic games began under the bush administration, was handed off there president bush to president obama in a meeting they had just a few days before the transfer of power in january of 2009. you know, the united states-- >> schieffer: you put a worm
into their computers. >> the way it worked, bob, was the u.s. and israel jointly designed a system to get inside the computer controllers that run the titan's renismment plant. this is where iran makes its nuclear fuel. for a year they sent in a beacon that mapped out, put up a blueprint of what this plant looks like, and then they sent in a series of these worms designed to speed up or slow down the centrifuges in ways where the iranians didn't realize that they were even under attack. they believed that their equipment was simply failing. this went on many times until they made a mistake. and the worm got out of through the laptop ofab unwitting iranian engineer who went home, plugged into the internet, and suddenly one variant of this worm was out for the world to see. that was thread i started to pull on to be able to tell the
story as we do in "confront and conceal." >> schieffer: how significant the the damage? >> the cia, the national security agency believe it set back iran's progress towards a nuclear weapons capability by 18 months to two years. there are others who dispute that. but the bigger issue here, bob, i think is that the united states has never before acknowledged the use of cyber weapons and and now the concern, is of course, because it was made clear we are using these, the president was worried it could create a pretext for china,, others to do the same to us, perhaps under less strict rules than-- >> schieffer: have we actually confirmed-- has the u.s. government confirmed we in fact are doing this? >> the united states government has never publicly confirmed but i think as you go into the accounts i've written it's very detailed and has president obama in the middle of it. the president sat in the
situation room and had to make decisions about when to continue, when to accelerate and whether to kill this program. >> schieffer: dan, your book is mostly about the drone war we've been hearing about. we read about it in the paper-- a drop did this, a drone did that. i want to talk to both of you. republicans, especially republicans, and critics to the president, have said that he has failed to lead on foreign policy, that he has been very weak. but as both of you line out in your book, it's an entirely different picture. >> well, it's extraordinary the extent to which this president has actually been very deeply and personally involved in these killing decision-- kinetic activity as they call it. there are interesting parallels between my book and david's. this is a president who came into office wanting to wind down the wars of 9/11, a smaller footprint. and yet, he inherited a military
that was very much still on the offensive, and a world that's still very dangerous. so he sort of emerges as a shadow warrior, using drones, using special operations forces, and in the iranian context, using cyber warfare and espionage. and it's a way to try to continue to deal with these threats but without full-scale war. the problem is is there is this kind of grinding inexorable momentum toward more killing and more war, and that is where he seems to find himself now. >> schieffer: how did he operate? give me his modus operandi. >> i think he started from creating something of a new doctrine, bob. there is an obama doctrine. i tried in the book to sort of hash out what it is, and i think the doctrine is very much along the lines that dan hinted at, which is the country's tired of these big wars of occupation, of sending 100,000 troops into a country, staying around for four or five years at a cost of a
trillion dollars or more. and yet, we still have these threats. and so the way he has operated has been to try to choose a high-tech area where the united states has advantage, but he's also recognized that these involve significant big moral and legal decisions, and there's some legal basis that they've laid out now for the drone wars. there's very little legal basis they've described for the cyber wars. so he has had to operate both as commander and something of law professor to go try to figure out if there is a way the united states can conduct these wars legally and also deal with what the blow-back is. you see it in the drone wars. we're in worst shape in pakistan with the pakistani people now than we were had president obama came in. in cyber, we're only starting to see the effects. >> schieffer: the way you talk about it in your book, we all remember-- or those of my era-- remember when lyndon johnson was
sitting in the white house and picking the bombing targets in north vietnam. people thought no commander in chief should be getting that involved in tact decisions. but, apparently, barack obama is taking it a step beyond that. >> it really is extraordinary. you valley a situation where his two closest advisers on these counter-terrorism issues, john brennan and general cartwright, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, they would come to him at extraordinary times, pull him out of a state dinner, interrupt him when he was having family time with his children, to make these glim calls and, you know, obama decide that he wanted to be personally involved in this. i think to some extent because he wanted to assume the moral responsibility, but i think it was largely because he was worried that he was going to end up getting sucked into wars and places likeiemen and somalia. he wanted to act as a kind constraining force. >> schieffer: you both are talking to the point he was
picking out which terrorists we'll go after. >> that's right. but interestingly, i think more often than not, he was scaling back the target list. he was saying i want to go after fewer of these people. we don't know that they are-- as he would put-- a.q. focused. he wanted to stay focused on our core interest-- which is to say going after al qaeda. >> and i think that's a key part of sort of his doctrine. he is willing to go do this, it seems, when there's a direct threat to the united states. when there's a more general threat, then he has insisted on putting other countries out in the lead, making sure that they're putting skin in the game. so in libya, he did that. in syria, you've seen very little activity because the u.s. won't go into the lead, and there isn't a cyber option. there really isn't a drone option, and we're somewhat frozen. this is the down side to the obama doctrine because there are limits to what can with drones
and cyber. it's great for going out after a specific facility or a terrorist. it's not great for changing the nature of a society. >> schieffer: let me ask you all something. when you were reporting- reports story did either of you ever get the idea some of these officials were disclosing some of these things to you, to boost up the president's reputation to make him appear tougher, that they were doing this and talking to you to counter this idea that he is a weak president and a weak leader? >> i you know what i got the sense, bob, actually, i got the sense these officials who i talked to who are with on a daily basis these huge moral dilemmas and very complicated legal and policy problems, they wanted to talk about it because some of these issues weighed on their consciences. they wanted to talk about because they wanted to make sure that people understood that they don't make these decisions lightly. and i think it had more to do with that than to try to spin reporters and boost up the
president. >> schieffer: david. >> in the case of olympic games, i spent a year working the story from the bottom up, and then went to the administration and told them what i had. then they had to make decisions about how much they want to talk about it. all you read about this being deliberate leaks out of the white house. it wasn't my experience. maybe it is in other cases. i'm sure the political side of the white house probably likes reading about the president acting with drones and cyber and so forth, the national security side has very mixed emotions about it because these are classified programs. >> schieffer: you have one fascinating, almost scary little story, david. you talk about when the white house thought that the taliban had stolen a nuclear weapon. >> that's right. there's a chapter called "bomb scare." they had about four days in 2009 when they thought pakistani taliban based on intercepts they had gotten listening to leaders of the taliban group, had a small nuclear device. and they actually sent a nuclear
search team to the gulf. they've never actually left there. and what did it reinforce in their mind? that it's pakistan, not afghanistan, that is really the biggest single threat to the united states in that region. and pakistan's got 100 nuclear weapons. it's building them up very quickly. they're building mobile weapons and those are much easier to steal. >> schieffer: as far as we know the taliban didn't get one. >> in the end it was a false alarm but, boy, it changed the way they thought about the problem. >> schieffer: scary stuff. i thank you both. i was paying too much with cable.
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flashback." >> america needs a full-time president. therefore, i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> schieffer: ford had become president when nixon resigned and many conservatives thought reagan would be a better candidate, so the talk quickly turned to whether ford should make reagan his running mate. >> one of the most interesting things i think that has been found by the cbs/"new york times" polls is a statistic that came up the other day that said if the race were ford versus carter, 41% of those who call themselves ronald reagan people would defect and vote for jimmy carter. in light of that, aren't you going to have to put ronald reagan on the ticket if you're going to have the backing of your party? and you've got to have the solid backing of the republican party. >> i have said that i would not exclude any republican that i've looked at or we've heard about that might qualify as being a vice presidential candidate, and that would include ronald
reagan. now, he has himself indicated he would not be interested in being vice president, but as far as i'm concerned, i would not exclude him. >> schieffer: of course he did exclude him, put bob dole on the ticket and went on to lose the election. when reagan got the republican nomination four years later, he returned the favor. ford's backers urged reagan to put former president ford on the ticket as his running mate but reagan declined and chose george bush. our "face the nation flashback." upon commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues...
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